23 January 2017
A new Dispatches investigation by Channel 4, which will be aired tonight, has revealed that textiles workers in the UK are illegally being paid just £3 per hour.
The episode follows an undercover reporter, who works for companies that supply high street chains including River Island, New Look, BooHoo and Missguided.
Among the shocking revelations are that one employer believed themselves to be in direct competition with Far Eastern suppliers so he had to keep wages at less than half of the legal minimum.
In the programme, he tells the reporter (who was paid just £110 for a full week of work), that he can’t expect to receive the minimum wage. “You won’t get that here. That’s what I’m telling you. We don’t get paid much for our clothes, and we need to compete with China and Bangladesh. They can get it cheap there. How will they get it made cheaper here? If we pay everyone £10 or £6 then we will make a loss,” he is caught on camera saying.
Elsewhere, the reporter is paid £3.25 an hour and £3.50 an hour, and the footage shows concerning health and safety hazards such as employees smoking on the factory floor and fire exits that are blocked.